Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Crafty for a Cause

I am not crafty. I am a good starter of projects, jumping in with gusto...and then. The glue oozes where it isn't supposed to and then I lose patience and measure haphazardly, and whatever I'm making ends up lopsided. And tossed aside.

I should also mention that I got tossed out of Grade 8 sewing. The small bit of my apron that I had managed to put together was looking rather asymmetrical and then I broke a sewing machine. My teacher sent me to the library to do a book report instead.

That's why I am totally amazed that I managed to make something useful and actually kind of cute!

I got invited to join a facebook group devoted to creating little, purple, knitted or crocheted baby caps to be sent out to new mothers along with a DVD outlining "The Period of PURPLE Crying." PURPLE is an acronym for:

Peak of crying
Resists soothing
Pain-like face
Long lasting

...and the whole point of the program is to prevent shaken baby syndrome.

When I first saw the facebook page I glossed over it thinking that I had nothing to offer, and then I saw a post with a link to a "super easy pattern anyone could do." How could I resist an invitation like that, especially during the summer when I had a little extra time?

So I got a crochet hook and some beautiful, soft, purple baby yarn, fired up "how to crochet" on YouTube, and here is the result.

As a group, they remain lopsided, but taken individually, they're pretty cute. The one on the top right will be just right for someone's preemie.

If you're interested in participating, hats can be dropped off until November 22.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Bad Case of Busy-itis

Look at me, three posts in one week?! Who do I think I am??

I just came across this post by Megan Francis about people who go around citing their laundry list of daily activities in an effort to sound busy/useful/productive but actually come across as self-absorbed and whiny. Because everyone is busy, why waste time one-upping each other over who is the busiest, right?

In reading this post, I realized I have had busy-itis in a bad way this fall. People who innocently ask me, "how's it going?" are just making chit-chat, but for some reason I find myself listing off all the craziness of our family schedule when a simple, "Fine, thanks, how are you?" would have sufficed.

I think part of the reason I keep doing this is because I cannot possibly hold all of the Google Calendar information for our family in our head for more than one day at a time, and my compulsion to recite the day's activities to anyone who will listen is really just an effort to try to keep track of everything I am supposed to be doing. You know, the way someone might repeat a phone number several times outloud in order to try to memorize it.... What, not everyone does that? Must just be me.

Anecdote to illustrate my point...Two days ago, Dave suggested we should all go to an upcoming hockey game on the weekend. I said sure. I didn't actually enter it on the calendar, he did, therefore it didn't enter my consciousness and wouldn't until Saturday morning when I scanned the calendar for the weekend of nuttiness. In the meantime, I got called to work at my second job because the Whitecaps are still in the playoffs. I panicked and made the fatal mistake of agreeing to take a shift without first consulting the calendar. Really, by now I should know better. Of course they conflict.

And of course, I realized the problem this evening when Dave, completely out of the blue, asked if we were still good to go to the game on the weekend. When I grimaced and said that I had mistakenly agreed to take a shift, the look on his face was of utter disappointment and irritation with having been saddled with such a space cadet.

Anyway, clearly I actually AM too busy...I can hardly keep things straight anymore. This has become my whole life and it's way out of whack. Time to start moving toward a lifestyle where I can honestly answer, "Fine," when someone asks how things are going.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Five Family Pictures

Here are five family pictures from the past several months that are some of my favourites. Actually, the real reason I am posting them is so that Trevor can use this for his school project...hope it works!

Dave, Amy, and Trevor on their way to the Women's Gold Medal hockey game.

Jill, Amy, and Trevor before the game.

Amy and Grandma McQueen, the Canucks fans.

Grandpa McQueen's birthday party, May 2010

Gavin at 16 months (August 2010)

Non-Beige Food

First, clearly, I can only do this about once a month these days. Like on a long weekend, because by the time I find time to actually write and post something the siren song of sleep beckons and wins. Since it's a long weekend I actually have 20 extra minutes, so here goes.

AMY ATE KALE!!!! Of all the non-beige things to eat, I can't believe it was kale which is basically a headless, curly form of cabbage. Not sweet potatoes or mild carrots. Kale.

I am new to kale myself and am trying to become a lover of it because it's good for you, not because I adore the taste so much. I didn't grow up eating it or watching my mom cook it so I had no idea what to do with it when I brought it home from the grocery store. I googled "kale recipes" and came across this little gem for something called kale chips.

Kale Chips:

1 bunch of kale

1 -2 tbsp. olive oil

seasoning salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the olive oil around on a cookie sheet. Wash the kale and tear the curly bits from the stalk. Dry the pieces thoroughly (this is very important!!). Smoosh the kale around in the olive oil and spread evenly over cookie sheet. Sprinkle liberally with your favourite seasoning salt. Bake at 350 for about 15 will feel and sound crispy to the touch when it's done.

There are several variations out there on the internet, this one was one of the simpler ones.
Kale. It's a miracle.